Friday, January 22, 2010

The Myth I Heard at the Fire


It had grown late around the fire and under the piercing stars. Then the Elder said, "We must ask the philosopher to leave us now, for I must now speak words that he would not allow." The philosopher understood and left without protest. He knew he would be asked to return soon enough, but he knew well what we had to do.

We were excited to hear what he intended to tell us, and what he told us electrified every part of our bodies.

"What I am to tell you is a myth--just a myth . . ." he said.

"Before everything came to be, there was the Absolute, and It reflected on Itself. 'I will to know. I will to love. I will to BE. I AM. I cannot fail to BE.'

"Then the Absolute did something that amazes the scholars even to this day. It became a pair--Man and Woman. When their eyes locked, they knew why they were and who they were. They were inconceivably and simultaneously one and different.

"Her gaze captured his transcendental form. He had strong arms, a broad chest, and ferocious eyes. He returned her gaze. Her eyes were flame. Her raiment gleamed of a thousand suns. She was smeared with fragrant oils.

"He said, 'I am He Who Attracts All. I am strong. I will protect you with these arms. I will never leave your side.'

"She said, 'I am She Who Capture's God's Heart. I am sweet. I will comfort you with these arms. My head will never leave your chest. Together we will shatter the nothingness with the fruit of our love.'

"He said, 'My arms are strong, but your sidelong glance is stronger.'

"And the nothingness trembled in fear and anticipation of the universes that they would create.

"They said, 'We will expand ourselves into Time and Place, in order that we may always love each other. We will be both that and this in inconceivable and simultaneous oneness and difference. We will experience endless pastimes. But our love cannot be contained! Others must join us. Let it be.'

"He Who Attracts All and She Who Captures God's Heart knew love, yet they also knew lust. They had lust for love, for life, for knowledge. The ecstasy of their union ripped through the nothing and penetrated the void with everything that we know, and much that we do not know.

"And now, to this day, the Divine Couple call to us.

"When we struggle to survive, we feel the exhilaration of the Will to Be.

"When we learn something new, we feel the exhilaration of the Will to Know.

"And, best of all, when we look into our lover's eyes, we feel the exhilaration of the Will to Love that created the entire universe, and which never ceases to call us Home."

I left that night in a state of euphoria; yet surely, the Elder must be mad. The philosopher will be returning soon. Tonight I will look into the stars, and into the eyes of Woman. I will wonder about what lies behind all of the veils that confound us. The Elder never told us why we must be cursed by these veils, or by all of this suffering. Perhaps we are in no position to know. But his myth gives me a certain lightness. Perhaps there is some kind of truth in the tale of this madman . . .

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